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Sebastian Junger
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3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,229 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
A riveting collection of literary journalism by the bestselling author of The Perfect Storm, capped off brilliantly by a new Afterword and a timely essay about war-torn Afghanistan -- a superb eyewitness report about the Taliban's defeat in Kabul -- new to book form.

Sebastian Junger has made a specialty of bringing to life the drama of nature and human nature. Few writers
Published (first published January 1st 2001)
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May 29, 2009 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the book is entitled "Fire" and the first part is comprised of an introduction to the essay on fire jumpers and forest fire fighting that immediately follows, the balance of the book is a series of Sebastian Junger's essays from wartorn or conflicted areas of the world. Junger is a talented journalist and writer; I deliberately use these two different words: "Journalist" in that he notices things well and, it seems to me, records events accurately while walking the fine line between "ju ...more
Sep 14, 2015 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fire is an excellent collection of essays by Sebastian Junger somewhat misleadingly titled.

The first two essays deal with fighting forest fires in the American West. The book then turns to essays, or feature pieces, that report on war in the Balkans and Afghanistan, diamonds in Sierra Leone, the peculiar division of Cyprus between Greeks and Turks, the last harpoon-using whale hunter in the Caribbean, and a few meditations on the difference between bravery (displayed when an action is not stric
W. Brad "Zorknot" Robinson
This is a collection of essays, not a cohesive book. I have to say that each essay left me wanting more, which is kind of good and bad. The title essay is on smoke jumpers, and it had a lot of information and good stories, but if you're looking for a book on smoke jumping or even things that are related to fire, you might be disappointed.

That said, the other essays are amazing in their own right. Junger tells of the many dangerous situations he's been in and the political situations that caused
Steve Lowe
Even after reading the other reviews of this book, even after reading the sort of vague introduction by Sebastian Junger about dangerous jobs, I STILL was caught by surprise when the stories in this book changed from fighting wildfires to the last remaining whale harpooner on the planet.

I loved the wildfire stuff, which was the first 50 or so pages. It's fascinating and I could have read on and on about the science of wildfires, the men and women who fight them, the technology and practices they
May 16, 2010 Tulara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was at the library looking for the author's newer book, War. It wasn't there, but I did see Fire - an account of fire fighters on the lines fighting forest fires. I always wondered about why these fire people run toward fires while I would run away - and although I've seen coverage of devastating fires, I imagine to see them up close as a wall of flame must be an experience for ultra-human people.

I guess I should have read the small print - the book is a collection of essays - granted the firs
It is really a collection of essays that he collected while writing for various magazines. Originally he had this book in mind first, then he wrote the piece, “A Perfect Storm” for a magazine, revisited that piece and turned that into his first book.
Chapters of special interest were: “Fire”, “The Whale Hunters”, and “Dispatches from a Dead War”. In “Fire” he clearly explains what life is like for smoke jumpers and brush fire fighters out west. You hear the stories of these forest fires, Junger t
Perrin Pring
Perhaps, had I read Fire closer to its original release date in 2001, I would have found it more enjoyable. Unfortunately, due to the constantly changing political world, and the choice of Junger's writing topics, I often found the book dated.

A collection of non-fiction magazine pieces Junger wrote over a period of years, Fire, actually has very little to do with wildland fire fighting, as the cover led me to believe. In fact, most of the articles are about political situations across the globe
Brian Bova
Enjoyed all the stories except for the one on Whale Harpooning. At the end of every story it seemed to just end while I was waiting for more to each one. Least liked book from Junger Ive read.
Jul 13, 2014 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of several articles that I believe were previously published elsewhere. The common denominator to the collection is 'adrenaline'. The title article is about fire-fighters working in western US with the usual Junger attention to detail about the people who do this work. Other articles are about war zones - Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia - again told from the perspective of the people fighting. There were a series of articles written with another author about Cypru ...more
I think I picked up this book because I wanted something different. something to check off a few more areas of the world about which I've read. I hadn't read or seen A Perfect Storm (not my thing), so I didn't have preconceived notions of what this would entail. That was both good and bad. I definitely enjoyed many parts of this book, and I learned a lot. But some sections, especially recounting massacres in Kosovo and Cyprus, were just hair-curling. I generally look askance at books that make m ...more
"Fire" is a collection of essays that Sebastien Junger, author of "The Perfect Storm" wrote as a reporter for various periodicals, including Harper's, National Geographic, and Vanity Fair.

The common theme among these stories is the examination of dangerous occupations and situations, and Junger takes us up into the Rockies with smokejumpers, visits Caribbean islanders who still hunt whales with hand-thrown harpoons from rowboats, explores the division of Cyprus between Greeks and Turks, examine
Jun 18, 2008 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this, you might start to think that Sebastian Junger is either suicidal or severely sadistic. Fire is a collection of articles that have appeared in other publications and some have been expanded upon for this collection. All are true and deal with the dangerous situations that Junger has exposed himself to in order to get a story. Some topics include American forest firefighters, the last true harpoon whale hunter in the world, the conflict between Turkey and Greece over the islan ...more
Marko Jezernik
Feb 18, 2013 Marko Jezernik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pričevanje vojnega novinarja: Afganistan, Kosovo, Ciper, Kašmir, Sierra Leone

Stran 174
Sodobna družba je seveda do kraja izpopolnila umetnost življenja, v katerem se nič ne dogaja. S tem pravzaprav ni nič posebno narobe, le da se velikanskemu številu Američanov zdi to čedalje lažje življenje obenem tudi čedalje bolj puščobno. Življenje v sodobni družbi je urejeno tako, da naj bi se v njem zgodilo čim manj nepredvidenih dogodkov, in čeprav se zdi takšno življenje prijetno, je njegova posledica
Scottie Shelton
Per Amazon (who always puts it best):

"Sebastian Junger reports on raging forest fires in the Western U.S, war zones in Kosovo and Afghanistan, the deadly diamond trade in Sierra Leone, the plight of travelers kidnapped by guerrillas in Kashmir, the last living whale harpooner on the Caribbean island of Bequia, and the Greek-Turkish conflict on Cyprus. There is also a fascinating chapter on John Colter (explorer, fur trader, and member of the Corps of Discovery led by Lewis and Clark) in which he
Apr 05, 2013 S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
torn between the three and the four, I started off at 3.8ish or so, backslid through some of the fire fighting details, whale hunters, kosovo, and then colter's way was short and sweet, sierra leone competent, and then afghanistan section timely and excellent.

in some ways the develompent of Junger, from interest in high-risk professions (blue-collar danger) cf. The Perfect Storm to his eventual War, and managing to "get the story" on Massoud, Afghanistan.

Modern society...has perfected the art o
Jan 18, 2012 yoli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2012
Really enjoyed the forest fire related essays, the first two, going to see how the other ones are.

Whaling in the Caribbean was still really awesome, definitely a totally different culture from any I've ever known. I enjoyed the historical context of how whaling came to the area and what it means from a larger global perspective, both economically/politically and environmentally.

Would have really appreciated an update on the Kashmiri hostages...although, I'm assuming it didn't end well for them.

Jan 03, 2015 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I kind of wish the whole book really was about fire, but the title and cover are a little misleading. The first two chapters are about wild land fire jumpers. He wanted to be a fire jumper, so he spent time with them and clearly has a passion for the work. Instead of the adventure of firefighting, he opted for a career in adventure journalism, which makes up the rest of the book.
The quality of the essays is fairly inconsistent. He writes in the compelling introduction that the unifying theme of
Dec 19, 2009 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not entirely sure why this collection of articles by Sebastian Junger is entitled "Fire," but I'm guessing it is a metaphor for what it is like to put yourself in various dangerous situations.

The first story, which is about putting out forest fires, was actually the weakest. There was a bit too much back story, and not enough of what was going on in the here and now (which is the early 1990's in this case).

I found it most interesting to read the articles that revolved around the Taliban in
Mar 21, 2008 minervasowl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I couldn't get through The Perfect Storm, Fire was amazing.

As with so many of my book purchases, an npr interview with the author had me excited about the publication of the book, but I didn't rush right out and buy it as soon as it was published because I figured that if I waited a few weeks, it would show up on the bestseller lists (which would mean a significant discount). After the raging success of The Perfect Storm, I didn't see how it could be otherwise.

If the book ever did make an
Okay, so, I have to admit that I read all of this book *except* (in the interest of time) the section on Cyprus. I can only assume that the title is meant to suggest a metaphorical linking of various sorts of "fires" that must be put out (though they never do seem to be put out - maybe that's the unarticulated message of this book?), but I was generally frustrated by the brevity and superficiality of the essays, both of which attributes seemed incommensurate with the quality of the prose. Still, ...more
Mar 22, 2015 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did not read it all- have no interest in the war chapters. However, what this book reminded me of is what a good writer Junger is. He really holds your attention and makes it worth reading. I wish he had taken the first two chapters on forest fires and done a whole book out of it. There were enough substories there to expand.
Sep 02, 2014 Benjamin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Meh. Working title could have been "SEBASTIAN JUNGER IS A BADASS". I was disappointed to find that it was a collection of essays and not entirely about firefighting, and the range of topics was just a little too loose and a little too "man, I'm hard" self-serious for me to really get into.
Joseph Schoolland
I didn't finish this. I thought it was all about fighting forest fires, but it's actually just a collection of nonfiction essays. The first two were about forest fires, but everything else was a random assortment. Not sure if they we good or bad, it just wasn't what I signed up for.
909.829 Magazine articles from 1992-2001 on the theme of dangerous occupations. Fire fighting in the American West, whaling in the Caribbean, war reporting in Kashmir, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, and the Northern Alliance vs the Taliban in Afganistan.
Dec 09, 2012 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of essays about natural disasters and war and dangerous occupations taught me a lot of detail I didn't know. Having experienced running from a forest fire once, I related to that more than I'd like, but the wartime essays were insightful in a new way, and the author's reflections on fear and risk were pretty good. They felt strange insofar as his being in all of the situations was entirely voluntary, which I think greatly changes a person's interpretation. The ability to leave at ...more
Tay Hook
#16 An excellent non-fiction book that traverses Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Afghanistan and the wildfires of Boise, Idaho, and provides a glimpse of natural and human-derived disasters in stark and powerful language.
John Stieven
Apr 13, 2016 John Stieven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chose this book because wanted to learn more about smoke jumpers -- that part was great! Rest of book has some interesting parts yet not really tied together -- and not sure why part of a book titled "Fire"
Anna Engel
The chapters about the forest fires were very interesting but Junger must have run out of material. I'm not into war journalism, which comprised the remaining chapters, so I stopped reading.
Feb 13, 2014 Murray rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I found most of the book riveting -- especially the stories about the smoke jumpers, Northern Alliance, and Whale Hunters -- I thought that some of the other stories were not as compelling.
Jun 01, 2014 Kelli marked it as to-read
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Sebastian Junger is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of War, The Perfect Storm, Fire, and A Death in Belmont. Together with Tim Hetherington, he directed the Academy Award-nominated film Restrepo, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism. He lives in New Yo ...more
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